Radiologists are medical specialists who focus on radiology, or the use of radiation (such as X-rays) to diagnose and treat disease. In recent years, advancements in radiologic technology have led to a greater role of the radiologist in health care regarding patient care, diagnoses, quality of care refinement, information technology, and preventative medicine.
The level of interpretation on a radiologist's part during their jobs leaves some room for error. This increased responsibility has also led to increased liability in terms of malpractice claims. Approximately 70% of radiologists face malpractice claims over the course of their careers. Studies show that about 7.3% of radiologists face claims annually. Of those claims, 2.3% give rise to monetary damages. For physicians in this speciality, the mean indemnity payment is about $233,000 and the median is $97,000.
Most malpractice claims against radiologists involve errors in the interpretation of radiographs, most commonly the missed diagnosis of breast cancer. Other missed diagnoses are of non-spinal fractures, spinal fractures, lung cancer, and vascular disease. Poor supervision of nurse practitioners and other medical assistants is also common in lawsuits. Radiologists should ensure that they are fully protected by comprehensive insurance policies.
Radiologists usually pay around $11,000 to $80,000 each year for malpractice coverage that meets their state's requirements. This cost covers legal defense and settlements, and other costs associated with malpractice claims and lawsuits. Radiologists should seek to customize their coverage with their insurance companies to meet their unique circumstances.
Insurance costs vary due to a variety of factors. Insurance rates are lower in states like Texas than in states like New York, depending on the level of litigiousness. Insurance costs are also influenced by the level of coverage and radiologist's history. Other elements at play in determining cost include:
Occurrences and claims-made are the two types of malpractice coverage. Occurrence coverage is usable for any claim that occurs during the time the policy is active, even if it is filed after the end of the policy. Claims-made coverage is insurance that is only applicable to claims that occur and are filed during the active policy period. Claims-made insurance can have the added benefit of "tail" coverage, which extends the coverage of the policy for a period of time after the policy is over.
Radiologists should also be sure to obtain individual insurance in addition to coverage under an employer's policy, as employer's policies often leave liability gaps.
Capson provides malpractice insurance to radiologists all over the United States. We offer a unique mix of both high coverage and low premiums, due to our selectivity process in choosing compassionate doctors. If you need to establish malpractice insurance for yourself, contact us today to get extensive protection.